March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month
Kidney Cancer– when healthy cells in one or both kidneys change and grow uncontrollably forming a tumor.
The kidneys are reddish-brown bean-shaped organs located above the waist that filter blood to remove impurities and also produce hormones that control blood pressure, red blood cell production and other bodily functions.
Types of Kidney Cancer-
Renal Cell Carcinoma- 85% of all diagnosed, the most common type of adult kidney cancer it develops in the proximal renal tubes that make up the kidney filtration system.
Transitional Cell Carcinoma (Urothelial Carcinoma)- 10%-15% of diagnosed, begins in the area where urine collects before moving to the bladder, this type of cancer is similar to bladder cancer.
Sarcoma-Rare, develops in the soft tissue of the kidney , the thin layer of connective tissue surrounding the kidney or surrounding fat.
Wilms tumor- most common in children
Types of Kidney Cancer Cells-
Clear cell- 70% of kidney cancer, ranges from slow growing to fast growing
Papillary- 10%-15% of kidney cancer, divided into two sub types called type 1 and type 2
Sarcomatoid- fastest growing and most aggressive type, it may develop from any cell type
Collecting Duct- Rare cancer that behaves similarly to transitional cell carcinoma
Chromophobe- Rare cancer that behaves differently from other types, may form indolent tumors
Oncocytoma- Slow growing cancer that rarely spreads
Angiomyolipoma- Benign tumor that has a unique appearance on a CT or CAT scan and under a microscope, less likely to grow or spread
Signs & Symptoms
In early stages there is no pain, symptoms usually appear when the tumor is larger and begins to affect nearby organs.
- Blood in the urine
- Pain or pressure in the side or back
- A mass or lump in the side or back
- Swelling of the ankles and legs
- High blood pressure
- Anemia ( low red blood cell count)
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Recurrent fever that is not from cold, flu or other infection
- For men- rapid development of a cluster of enlarged veins around a testicle
There is no proven way to prevent kidney cancer, however these may lower the risk
- Quitting smoking
- Lowering blood pressure
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat
Also if you haven’t already please read these previous posts!